The past few days have been really exciting, though not so much for me and L'Ailee. Once again, busy but boring. Also, I am in a bit of a pessimistic mood. So once again--and I know y'all love these!--I will post in bullet points.
* The Stanley Cup was pushed up. I may still be serving salsa made from my own terrace garden tomatoes and peppers for the last game, but we were glad. However, the first two games had the Penguins doing the stupid shit from last winter that I referenced. (Reason #4,802 why I love L'Ailee: Sunday night, I howled "Fuck me!" when Malkin missed a goal, and she whispered, "After the Red Wings win.") They really do have to get over their collective fear of Joe Louis. I was happy to see the win Tuesday and hope to see another tonight.
* But I must brag on something that happened this weekend. Since we were watching two Stanley Cup games and a race, it was starting to seem horribly ironic to us that we were becoming couch potatoes while watching other people move. So L'Ailee organized a game of street hockey on roller skates, Wings fans versus Pens fans, between the race and the game on Sunday. Some people picked a team based on which one they hated more, and a couple neighbors were drafted. ("Red team or black and white team?") I worked better than I ever expected with L'Ailee and her best friend A. this past winter, but they were my opponents in this, which also broke our rule about never playing games against each other. So it was all the more surprising that I...hat-tricked! First time ever! I had a really awesome celebration, too: I stood there like a deer in headlights, then squeaked, "Did I just actually score a third time? Seriously?"
* L'Ailee's being told she looks like Rachel Maddow right now. A lot. I know some of y'all would like that! I mentioned this in an earlier post, but A. is growing a sympathy playoff beard for the Wings, and he dared L'Ailee to stop shaving her head as well, and she never, ever turns down a dare from him. I had the brilliant idea of using a black beard-dyeing kit to get rid of the white streaks that have been driving her nuts; it worked fairly well. (The main difference between that and regular dye is the applicator, of course.) Both of them really want to shave. If, Gods forbid, the Wings win again, A.'s husband and I will be taking care of them; if the Pens win, they will take care of each other. Me, I'm keeping a Sidney-Crosby-scoring-a-goal computer wallpaper up at my work, mostly to drive the New York Rangers fans nuts, and making sure I wear Ed Hardy's "Love Kills Slowly" perfume on game days. I disavowed the use of magick for sports in this very blog a while back, but figured that if two of my favorite atheists can use sympathetic magick, so the hell could I. One thing I have learned not to do, ironically enough, is wear Lucky You perfume on race or game days, which is obviously why Tony Stewart is now the first owner-driver in 17 years to be on top of the Sprint Cup championship points. Apparently it's lucky for me but toxic for the athletes I like. :-)
* All that said, reality intruded on us this past weekend, despite our very best efforts. At our house, the opinions about abortion varied widely, and the group that comes to watch races and/or games has pretty much agreed to never, ever talk about it ever. George Tiller's murder shocked us all, however. We all felt like something really dangerous was bubbling up. "Civil War 2.0," Mona whispered, and nobody argued. I've felt this way myself. We didn't cry so much for Tiller as for the fact that someone felt compelled to shoot him...in church, traumatizing the rest of the congregation...and we knew that particular church shooting wasn't going to "count" to some people. We knew Tiller wasn't going to "count." And we knew that the people who demonized him hate most of us without knowing us, too. I don't know about blaming the likes of Bill O'Reilly. I never liked it when, say, hip-hop music was blamed for violence or sexually explicit material was blamed for rape. I think that other adult citizens have the right to have their brains and eardrums assaulted by O'Reilly, too.
* Jeremy at Good As You spoke my fears quite eloquently this weekend.
* It's weird, though. One thing about the culture war is that it's not so much about states as states of mind. Bill O'Reilly is a native New Yorker. Like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and other conservative potstirrers, he broadcasts from NYC. One of the states that allows same-sex marriage is Iowa, in the Midwest. In Orlando, I had large networks of bisexual friends (we referred to ourselves as a "broke Bloomsbury") and Pagan friends. I try to have faith, to believe in us and the US. I love my country and, as L'Ailee can tell you, am incredibly tenacious about what I love most. That used to be called "patriotic." "Patriotic" is becoming another code word now, like "family" and "moral" and "traditional" and "values". It's past time to take those words back.
* But same-sex marriage is legal in New Hampshire now! That makes 6! I'm getting pretty doubtful that New York will be #7 this year.
* I love Senator Patrick Leahy for introducing the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow Americans to seek residency in the United States for same-sex partners.
* A lesbian couple in Fresno, California alleges discrimination by a hospital. I myself have an incident--some of you may remember when I surfed into a sailboat--when I had to scream and make a scene for the right to have L'Ailee in the room with me. (And then I passed out.) I am only telling the super-short version of that because I'm tearing up just typing that--it was scary as hell! I can't imagine what this couple endured. I'm telling that to tell this--Kelvin, the Gay and Lesbian Issues Examiner at Examiner.com, has a pretty decent bit of advice for same-sex couples who intend to travel. If that applies to you at all, please read it!
* Awww, another cute gay penguin couple with a chick! What is particularly gratifying about this is that it happened at the Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany. A few years ago, their keepers imported girl penguins to "straighten up" their six gay penguins. It looks like they've given up. I'm so glad. I wrote an article about that, if you're curious. And no, my love for penguins is not the only reason why I support Pittsburgh, though it is fun to tell my future stepdad so.
* What's a great move for clothing retailers in a recession? Cutting back on plus-size lines. That's right, the fastest-growing clothing market. I swear, if I'd gone to a better business school and been hit on the head with a cast-iron pan a few times, I'd understand this stuff.
* Finally, two books I will desperately need to purchase new and read are coming out this autumn: an autobiography of Sinead O'Connor and Look at the Birdie, a collection of previously unpublished short stories by Kurt Vonnegut. I can feel those in my hands on the bus right now! (And yes, I'm that old-fashioned--I still read books on paper. Newspapers, too. I don't own a Kindle or download anything but music. I like the idea of reading things that will work when batteries and power fail, things that can be circulated easily and given away to others.)